Twin Cities Tap Festival

The rhythmic event click-clacks its way to the Cowles Center

A group of people tap dancing.

photo by calabay productions


Many think first of Fred Astaire in top hat and tails, but tap dancing has grown generation to generation—up to last year, when an adaptation of the ’20s musical Shuffle Along took steps from 100 years ago and set them to today’s rhythms. Rich with dance studios thanks to its well-fed arts scene, Minnesota is a tap center, and at this Cowles Center event, four Minneapolis choreographers, among other renowned tappers, will challenge the lightly seasoned with syncopation and improv while beginners learn the basics (such as the shuffle—brushing your toe forward and back—or tap’s national anthem, the Shim Sham). It’s a form that adapts to any age. In one class, you could find a 13-year-old flapping his feet beside a late-40s paddle-and-roller.